Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Judging by the Content of Their Character

In her controversial new novel, Rebel Yell, Alice Randall dissects the apparent paradoxes of a black conservative

Abel Jones, Jr., the posthumous protagonist of Alice Randall‘s Rebel Yell, is a tragic send-up of that all too unlikely character: the black conservative. Slightly younger than his real-life counterparts Shelby Steele and Clarence Thomas, Jones is, by turns, a Foreign Service officer, a CIA agent, a banker in Nashville, and, at his death, the George W. Bush Administration’s “Special Advocate” in the Pentagon, a fictional position that places Jones at the center of the run up to the Iraq War.

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Personal Business

Is a Ponzi scheme always founded in evil?

Meet Robbie Case. Thirty-five-year-old CEO of multi-national Core Communications. Wunderkind manager. Technical guru. Beloved boss. Darling of Wall Street. Liar extraordinaire.

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Semi-Tragic Romance

In Manette Ansay’s fictional world, men and women are doomed to disappoint each other

Good Things I Wish You is Manette Ansay‘s eighth book and arguably her most ambitious. Ansay originally conceived it as a historical novel, but it evolved into a story that, she says, “leans backwards out of the present world and into the 1860s.”

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Voices of Stone

Poetic interpretations of a master sculptor’s work

Nashville sculptor William Edmondson believed he worked at God’s command. In a collection of poems for young readers, Elizabeth Spires gives his creations voices of their own.

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Alive and Well—in Sewanee and Elsewhere

Wyatt Prunty explains why reports of poetry’s death have been greatly exaggerated

“I am able to report that poetry is alive and well today, and that it is highly varied in technique and subject,” observes Wyatt Prunty. “I enjoy the proof of that every July here in Sewanee.”

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Men of Steel

Riding the rails with Howard Bahr in Pelican Road

When an author establishes a stellar reputation for one kind of book, he takes a risk if he turns to new subjects, as Howard Bahr has done in Pelican Road. A former professor of English at Motlow State College in Tullahoma, Bahr acquired a slew of excellent reviews and awards for his first three novels, each featuring characters haunted by the horrors of the Civil War, particularly the vicious Battle of Franklin. So fans may be apprehensive to learn that his new book skips ahead seventy-five years and portrays not soldiers but men who rode the rails in the golden age of steam.

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